Bol Park Revegetation Enhancements

by Inge Harding-Barlow

Thank you to the 102 families who responded to the Christmas newsletter survey. The results are given below.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) sub-contractor has planted about 90% of their plantings and the rest -- replacements by like species, etc. -- will go in shortly.

SCVWD will maintain the plants, lawn and hydroseed areas for three years, before handing off to the Palo Alto City Parks Department. It was unfortunate that specification factors, such as minimum size and number of species to be used, were not more tightly defined in the original contract.

Bol Park was originally purchased from the Bol family and developed from pasture land by the residents of Barron Park. It was a true community park and only became a City park when we were annexed by the city.

Plantings in the park have traditionally been meant to accomplish several goals, including long- and medium-term panoramic effects (over 30 years hence) and shorter-term seasonal eye catching pleasures. Efforts have also traditionally been made to enhance the habitat for our wild creatures, such as hawks, herons, hummingbirds, etc.

The BPA Reveg. Sub-committee had many working sessions during 1995 and 1996, to develop planting plans. This was written up in all the BPA newsletters beginning with the 1995 Winter issue. During 1996, the sub-committee worked with both the SCVWD and later, the City Parks Department to come up with suitable enhancements to the SCVWD revegetation plans. The BPA has on hand about $1000 worth of plants and seeds. These mainly consist of several 5-15 gallon high cost and quality native trees and shrubs and include some other beautiful and costly native shrubs and wildflower plants. We have had these on hand since last October and many of them need to be planted this season.

Most of the delays have been caused by misunderstandings. A public walk through was held March 16, at 3 p.m., to answer questions concerning the proposed plantings. For dates and times for volunteers to take part in the work, please watch the kiosk and Mickey's pasture fence.

For further information, please contact either of the co-chairs of the sub committee -- Jill Beckett, 494-6922, or Inge Harding-Barlow, 493-8146.

Winter Newsletter Bol Park Survey Results

  1. Are you in favor of maintaining and further enhancing the semi-natural look of Bol Park's fringes and the bike path? Yes 93.0%, No 5.0%, Indifferent 2.0%
  2. Would you like to see colorful native wildflower and bulb displays and flowering trees and shrubs along the bike path during the summer and fall as well as in the springtime? Yes 83.4%, No 3.9%, Indifferent 12.7%
  3. Would you like to see more native trees and shrubs planted along the sparsely covered sections of the bike path (Strawberry Hill etc.)? Yes 84.2%, No 6.9%, Indifferent 8.9%
  4. Would you like to see the bike path vegetation evolve into a native plant garden, over the years, through selective weeding of foreign species and selective planting of locally-evolved natives? Yes 78.5%, No 7.8%, Indifferent 13.7%
  5. Would you like the native plants to be selected to match our mico-environment, including soil conditions, as closely as possible, thereby minimizing future maintenance requirements? Yes 92.2%, No 1.0%, Indifferent 6.8%
  6. Would you like some native plants to be selected for fragrance (highly allergenic species to be avoided)? Yes 58.0%, No 10.0%, Indifferent 32.0%
  7. Would you like to see more native food plants and cover for our indigenous wildlife -- mammals, birds of prey, songbirds, water fowl, butterflies and pollinating insects? Yes 91.8%, No 3.1%, Indifferent 5.1%
  8. Would you like to see small, tasteful markers showing the Latin and common names of the native trees and shrubs? Yes 62.7%, No 11.8%, Indifferent 25.5%
  9. Would you like more benches along the bike path? Yes 41.6%, No 16.8%, Indifferent 41.6%

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